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How to Prune Geraniums? Plus 3 Interesting Things You Should Learn about Geraniums

Geranium is a type of flowering plant that boasts bright red flowers with large petals. They also have a lovely scent, making them one of the more favorite plants to grow. The scent of geraniums can be most likened to that of roses, which means that they are well-loved by many. The geranium plant is also pretty useful for those who love to make special dishes in the kitchen since the said plant can also be used as a flavoring for food like jellies and drinks like flavored drinks or shakes. 

But with all these benefits and uses, keeping and maintaining the geranium in a healthy state is of utmost importance. One technique you need to learn is how to prune geraniums. Pruning geraniums involves the cutting off of dead and brown leaves from the plant, leaving only the healthy ones. It also involves knowing which stems should be cut, and which stems should be left alone.

In this topic, when we talk about “geraniums”, we are actually talking about “pelargonium”. So why the mixed-up terms? Before we answer that question, let’s first identify the difference between geraniums and pelargonium. Pelargoniums have flowers that have two upper petals that are different from the three lower petals. True geraniums, on the other hand, have flowers that have petals that are similar to others. 

These mixed-up terms were caused by early 18th century botanists when it was first introduced to Europe by the Dutch. Since the new plants resemble the native geraniums that are already growing in Europe, the botanists mistakenly identify them as geraniums. It wasn’t only until 1753 when a Swedish botanist discovered a myriad of factors that differentiate it from true geraniums. After the discovery, they promptly reclassified it as Pelargonium. However, the original classification stuck. So whenever we say geranium, we actually mean pelargonium, just keep this fact in mind.

3 Techniques to Better Pruning 

You might wonder, is it really important to prune my geranium? How will it benefit my plant? It possible that geranium can be grown without ever pruning it. However, don’t expect the geranium to bloom as best and as long as it can be, and the plant also won’t be as healthy as well. Geraniums if left to their own would grow tall and have an excessively long and straggle stem. While on the other hand, pruning the plant will allow for new growth and longer-lasting blooms, bringing out the best potential of this plant. With the proper pruning methods, you can better enjoy this flower. So let’s get to pruning your geranium now!

Before you go ahead and prune your geranium, procure some scissors or sheers first. Make sure that those sheers or scissors are sharp and able to make a clean cut. Making a clean cut will help avoid damaging other parts of the plant that are not intended to be pruned; it will also help avoid diseases and pests. Clean your scissors or sheers before you make a cut to avoid spreading some diseases. Use alcohol or bleach to clean your tools and afterward rinse them with running water.

1. Pruning Potting Geraniums

Pots are often used to keep plants in a more organized state. When you use pots to hold a plant, it is necessary that your soil be a mix of light and loose materials, such as moss, vermiculite, and decomposed organic matter. In order to choose the best pot for your plant, it is important that the size of the pot match the size of your plant at present. If the plant grows, and the pot is too small, it might be detrimental to the plant’s health since its growth might be unnecessarily restricted.

Pruning a potted plant is similar to pruning plants that are naturally growing in a field or a garden outside your home. To properly prune a geranium, the first step would be to identify the brown and dead leaves on the plant. This shouldn’t be too difficult since healthy geraniums have a bright red color. To determine whether a geranium stem is healthy or not, squeezing it and feeling a firm stem means that the stem is still healthy. 

Otherwise, this means that the stem is no longer adding any real advantage to the plant and that it is time to prune away such a stem. Also, it is advisable that you prune your geranium plants during spring, or summer, instead of in the fall or winter. Pruning a geranium can also involve shaping and trimming the plant according to the size and shape you see fit. Pruning potting geraniums is also very similar to pruning geraniums growing on other types of grass or soil, except that it requires a consideration of the kind of look or aesthetic you’d want to go well with the plant’s pot.

2. How to Deadhead Geraniums

Deadheading is a process that involves removing or cutting off the plants that have faded above the flowers that are just about to bloom. This means that the unhealthier portions of the plant are either pinched or cut off entirely from the flower, in order to give way to the next set of healthy flowers or leaves that are just about to bloom. Deadheading is an important process in maintaining healthy plants since it allows the plant to grow at a steady pace without any hindrance. 

This process or step can be performed at any time during the plant’s growth since it really depends on the time you have available and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to put in for the plants being maintained. Deadheading is easier to do on plants or flowers that produce only single stems, since that way, the stems that are either dead or drying are easily identifiable. Whereas plants with multiple stems are more difficult to deadhead since this requires a determination of whether or not a majority of the connected flowers or plants have already died or not.

As to how to deadhead geraniums, you would need to determine, first, whether there are brown or weak stems present in your geranium plant. If not, then the plant does not require the process of deadheading. If there are brown or dead stems or blooms, then deadheading can be performed by pulling off the top-most flowers and snapping the stems from which they are attached. By doing this, you are allowing new geraniums to grow in place of the geraniums that have previously been removed from the plant.

3. What Happens When it’s Winter? – How to Cut Back Geraniums for Winter Storage

Winter can be an especially challenging time for flowers and plants that don’t naturally grow in low temperatures. Thus, it is important to know how to maintain, cut, or store flowers when wintertime comes, in order to preserve them during times of spring. Learning how to cut back geraniums for winter storage can be an important skill to learn, especially if you want to be able to keep your geranium plant healthy all year round. 

In order to keep your geraniums healthy over the winter, you need to prune them by one-third, meaning the dead and unhealthy portions must be trimmed to at least one-third of the plant’s overall shape. Once done, the geranium must be placed in a well-lit area, where the light used is one with a fluorescent blub. The light must be on at all times, and provides just enough heat and light needed for the geraniums to last the winter. If you live in an area where winter won’t be as cold that the ground freezes, then you can overwinter your geranium outside.


Geraniums are beautifully colored flowers that can last throughout the year provided they be taken care of according to proven techniques and methods. Learning how to prune geraniums is important for removing unwanted parts of the flower and maintaining its health over other less favorable seasons like winter. Geraniums have a smell similar to roses and are also bright red in color. Geraniums are also very popular plants since they grow well in both the garden and in the pot.

Learning how to prune geraniums also helps you grow better geranium flowers, since removing stems that do not grow properly or have already worn out gives the new blooms space to grow. Owning geraniums are especially beneficial if you want to grow flowers that have a good scent. Geraniums come in a number of scents, and can even smell like lemons or fruits. It’s no wonder these flowers are so popular in today’s generation.

Now that we have examined this topic, do you have any concerns? Any tips or thoughts perhaps? Feel free to comment on it below! Our website also offers other guides as well such as How to Grow Quinoa and How To Grow Oregano.

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